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I Will Tell About It.

July 23, 2015
I’m really happy to introduce you all today to not only a wonderful writer & blogger, but a wonderful person: Nina, from Flowers in my Hair. One of the things I love most about Nina’s writing is that she writes from a place of such genuineness, as well as hilarity with a splash of sarcasm, something that always seems to catch me off guard, but at the absolute perfect time. I have laughed out loud while reading her posts, and have cried like a baby. I love this shared post from her below, I think it is such an honest and beautiful chapter of an introduction to the life, story, and mind of Nina 🙂

*The following is a guest post written by Nina from Flowers in my Hair, written specifically to be shared with Ember Grey readers.
I’m Nina, a writer, blogging over at Flowers in my Hair. I write about everything under the sun – from the silly to the serious – trying to find the adventure in the every day. Lately, I’ve been saving the serious (or I guess the more narrative form) for Thursdays. As it is such, you’ll find me a bit serious here today (though laughing is my favorite thing in the world to do…also elephants).

I grew up in what I considered to be the perfect family. Though we’d all like to imagine ourselves a bit like Elizabeth Bennet, I have to admit I had a little bit of Darcy in me back then. I didn’t know I took such pride or found such identity in my family (I wouldn’t have even had the words for it), but I did. I was proud of the way my parents built a life from extremely humble beginnings. Love burst from me as I watched them do it. I went to sleep loved and cared for. I was proud that we were stable and whole (my versions of those words back then was limited).

But you know, I am a kid of divorce. It seriously shocked me. In my head, when I was told at 16, I came up with at least 10 other couples or families that should have divorced before my own parents (I started coping well early, obviously).

They never fought in front of us. Not ever. I never heard harsh words behind closed doors either. And yet…when I was old enough to babysit, I witnessed genuine affection and attraction between the parents of those kids and it was as if a door to an unknown world was flung open to me (how ridiculous was I? See how rigid I was? Call me Darcy and be done with it). I did not know that parents could be more than Mom and Dad. 

I was cynical for a long time (I suppose at 27, I still am… but I am a work in progress… even Darcy bends enough to get the girl and my repeated references to Pride and Prejudice obviously shows I have a romantic streak). After the divorce, my parents’ relationship changed. For the first time, I saw genuine affection for one another as friends and it gave me so much joy and yet so much sorrow. Why could they love one another this way and not the other?

Then I read this poem (don’t skip it, even if you always skip poems ha!):


Sharon Olds took my feelings and wrote them down perfectly. Because (of course) I was a precocious child, already writing stories, yearning to hear stories, asking: when did you and dad meet? when did you know you loved mom? 

So I see them, my mom sitting under the gaudy Christmas lights of the neighborhood bar, home from college for the holiday, nursing her single drink, long dark hair thick down her back, graceful dancer hands cupping her glass. I see him spot her, young and trim, all dark hair and confidence. They grew up in the same neighborhood and knew of one another in their large high school but never met…

And I want to say: wait. stop.

Don’t ask her out. Don’t say yes. You are better as friends. You do not know what you are about to do to one another, if only by accident. 

For a long time, my poem ended there.

But much like the speaker in the Sharon Olds poem, after a serious nervous breakdown (I put my identity in all the wrong things and then that identity was blown away like a dandelion puff) and recovery, I realized something so incredibly important:

I want to live.

So I watch them in that homey little bar. I let my father make my mother laugh. I allow his humor and arrogance and kindness attract her. I let her beauty and shyness push him not only to ask her on a date but one step further when she tells him she cannot attend due to a friend’s party. I hear the now infamous line, see his grin as he says: if you don’t go out with me Friday, maybe we shouldn’t go out at all. And though as a woman I want to flick her in the forehead, I see her agree. And I am at peace. 

Because I want to live.

I don’t pretend to know mysteries like why God put my parents together when they were more well suited for others. It’s beyond me and I know that now so much better than I did before. But I do know He wanted my brother and me to live. And so I find more peace.

So as a writer and as a daughter, I think of them meeting and I no longer want to stop time. Instead, as writer and as a daughter, I say: do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it (Olds). 

Thanks for having me, Emily. I’d love to have you all stop by and get to know me more! Also, today on my blog, I am actually pretty serious too as it is the anniversary of the most important blog post I’ve ever written. Fair warning, the story involves abuse. In happier news, use the code: brave for 20% off any sponsorship spot.  

*Today’s post has been a guest post shared by Nina from Flowers in my Hair, specifically written for Ember Grey readers, via the Go the Distance ad spot.

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  • This is beautiful! I am a child of divorce as well and I never thought of it like this. Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Nina!

  • Oh I love Nina, Her writing is so original and so refreshing to read. OX

  • Seriously. I love her writing & the way she shares stories.

  • Thank you so much, Kendra. As a writer, there is no higher compliment. I knew I had to bring some A game to Emily's blog!

  • You are the most encouraging!

  • I didn't either until I read the poem. Thanks, Christine!

  • I adore Nina and her blog!

  • Love this, its so beautiful said Nina! I love your writing…I sit in awe..I really really do.

  • Thank you, Faith. It really is one of my favorite poems!!

  • Thank you so very much! xo